Ever since Seb Bishop stepped down from his position as CEO of Goop in April, we've been waiting to see who would take his place. Now we've got an answer: Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle company has handed over the executive reins to Lisa Gersh, the former CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnichannel and co-founder of Oxygen Media.
For all the flak Paltrow has taken over statements about her own mode of living that come off as preachy and elitist, you can't say she hasn't created a strong brand identity for Goop. As Gersh settles into her new job, she'll be working to ramp up the business side of things.
"The brand is established, but the business is a startup," Gersh said on a phone call Saturday.
Gersh declined to comment on Goop's sales to date, but did say that she is eyeing three avenues for growth. The company will continue to create designer capsule collections like those with Stella McCartney and Diane von Furstenberg, which have proven successful thus far. Goop also has plans to introduce advertising on its site. And, of course, Goop is working on launching its own label. Mark that on your calendars for 2015.
At this point Goop's team comprises about 12 people, with Paltrow and the content team based in Los Angeles. Web development is outsourced. Gersh, meanwhile, will remain in New York.
Despite the bad press Paltrow has gotten for seeming out of touch with the rest of the populace, the goal for Goop is to be accessible as well as aspirational. "I think that people will be surprised as they spend more time on our site, in terms of the attainability of the products we're recommending," Gersh says, adding that the demographic "sweet spot" is 25 to 45-year-old women with a relatively high income level.
One thing Gersh learned from her time at Martha Stewart Living, the grandmomma of lifestyle brands, is that authenticity goes a long way. That's good news for Goop: Paltrow's public persona may be a lot of things, but insincere is not one of them. But while the actress is the face, creative director and aesthetic inspiration for Goop, the brand aims to stand on its own.
"The company is called Goop," Gersh says. "It's not called 'Gwyneth Paltrow.'"